A burrito or taco de harina is a type of food found in Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine. It consists of a flour tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling. The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable. In Mexico, refried beans, spanish rice, or meat are usually the only fillings and the tortilla is smaller in size. In the United States, however, fillings generally include a combination of ingredients such as spanish rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, meat, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream, and the size varies, with some burritos considerably larger than their Mexican counterparts.

The word "burrito" literally means "little donkey" in Spanish. The name "burrito" possibly derives from the appearance of a rolled up wheat tortilla, which vaguely resembles the ear of its namesake animal, or from bedrolls and packs that donkeys carried.Duggan, Tara. (Apr. 29, 2001). [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/04/29/CM162769.DTL The Silver Torpedo] . "San Francisco Chronicle".]


Mexican popular tradition tells the story of a man named Juan Mendez who used to sell tacos in a street stand, using a donkey as a transport for himself and the food, during the Mexican Revolution period (1910-1921) in the Bella Vista neighborhood in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. To keep the food warm, Juan had the idea of wrapping the food placed in a large home made flour tortilla inside individual napkins. He had a lot of success, and consumers came from other places around the Mexican border looking for the "food of the Burrito," the word they eventually adopted as the name for these large tacos.

Burritos are a traditional food of Ciudad Juárez, a city in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, where people buy them at restaurants and roadside stands. Northern Mexican border towns like Villa Ahumada have an established reputation for serving burritos, but they are quite different from the American variety. Authentic Mexican burritos are usually small and thin, with flour tortillas containing only one or two ingredients: some form of meat, potatoes, beans, asadero cheese, chile rajas or chile relleno.cite book
last = Franz
first = Carl
coauthors = Lorena Havens
title = The People's Guide to Mexico
publisher = Avalon Travel Publishing
date = 2006
pages = 379
isbn = 1566917115
] Other types of ingredients may include "barbacoa", "mole", chopped hot dogs cooked in a tomato and chile sauce, refried beans and cheese, "deshebrada" and (shredded slow-cooked flank steak). The "deshebrada" burrito also has a variation in "chile colorado" (mild to moderately hot) and "salsa verde" (very hot). The Mexican burrito may be a northern variation of the traditional "Taco de Canasta." They are eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.Fact|date=February 2008

Although burritos are one of the most popular examples of Mexican cuisine outside of Mexico, in Mexico itself burritos are not common outside of northern Mexico, although they are beginning to appear in some non-traditional venues.

Wheat flour tortillas used in burritos are now often seen through much of Mexico, but at one time were peculiar to northwestern Mexico, the Southwestern US Mexican American community and Pueblo Indian tribes, possibly due to these areas being less than optimal for growing maize.

Burritos are commonly called "tacos de harina" (wheat flour tacos) in Central and Southern Mexico and burritas (feminine, with 'a') in northern-style restaurants outside of Northern Mexico proper. A long and thin fried burrito similar to a chimichanga is prepared in the state of Sonora and vicinity and is called a "chivichanga". [Bayless, Rick and Deann Groen Bayless. (1987). "Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico". Morrow Cookbooks. p. 142.ISBN 0-688-04394-1]


The most commonly served style of the burrito in the United States is not as common in Mexico. Typically, American-style burritos are larger, and stuffed with multiple ingredients in addition to the principal meat or vegetable stuffing, such as pinto or black beans, rice (frequently flavored with cilantro and lime or prepared Spanish-style), guacamole, salsas, cheese, and sour cream.

One very common enhancement is the wet burrito (also called an enchilada-style burrito), which is a burrito smothered in a red chile sauce similar to an enchilada sauce, with shredded cheese added on top so that the cheese melts. This type of burrito is typically placed on a plate and eaten with a knife and fork, rather than being eaten from hand to mouth as with the San Francisco variety of burrito. When served in a Mexican restaurant in the U.S., a melted cheese covered burrito is typically called a "burrito suizo" ("Suizo" meaning "Swiss", an adjective used in Spanish to indicate dishes topped with cheese or cream).

Some cities have their own variations with one of the most well-known being the San Francisco burrito.

an Francisco burrito

The origins of the San Francisco burrito can be traced back to Mission District taquerias of the 1960s, however someWho|date=September 2008 assert that the original San Francisco burritos began in the fields of Central Valley farmworkers. Other researchers trace the ancestry further back to miners of the 19th century. The San Francisco burrito emerged as a culinary movement during the 1970s and 1980s, and more recently spawned the wrap. The typical San Francisco burrito is produced on an assembly line, and is characterized by a large stuffed tortilla, wrapped in aluminum foil which can include variations on Spanish rice, beans, a single main filling, and hot or mild salsa.

The San Francisco-style burrito has become immensely popular throughout the USFact|date=September 2008, popularized by eateries like The Moe's Southwest Grill, Chipotle Mexican Grill, [cite news
last = Slodysko
first = Brian
title = Chipotle serves up free burritos and drinks
publisher = "Lancaster Eagle-Gazette"
date = 2008-06-25
url = http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880625027
accessdate = 2008-06-28
] Illegal Pete's, Freebird's, Qdoba, and Barberitos.

Breakfast burrito

Southwestern cuisine, New Mexican cuisine in particular, has popularized the "breakfast burrito". An entire American breakfast can be wrapped inside a 15-inch flour tortilla, accompanied by field-fresh, often very hot, green chile. Southwestern breakfast burritos may include scrambled eggs, potatoes, onions, chorizo, guisado, or bacon. [Cheek, Lawrence. (Oct, 2001). [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1216/is_4_207/ai_78901500 Rise and shine - breakfast - Recipe] . "Sunset". ] "Tia Sophia's", a Mexican café in Santa Fe, New Mexico, claims to have invented the original breakfast burrito in 1975, filling a rolled tortilla with bacon and potatoes, served wet with chili and cheese. [cite news
last =Anderson
first =Judith
title =What's Doing In; Santa Fe
publisher =The New York Times
date =1998-05-24
url =http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E5DD1639F937A15756C0A96E958260&sec=travel&pagewanted=print
accessdate =2007-08-18
] Fast food giant, McDonald's introduced their version in the late 1980s and by the 1990s, more fast food restaurants caught on to the style, with Taco Bell, Sonic and Carl's Jr. offering breakfast burritos (smaller in size) on their menus.


A burrito bowl is a burrito or fajita served without the tortilla wrap. [ [http://restaurant.asg.northwestern.edu/restaurant_view.php?id=1&sectionid=00 Restaurant Guide, Associated Student Government, Northwestern University ] ] It is instead placed in a bowl. Its establishment can be traced to the beginning of the low carb fad in the early 2000s. However, it does have carbohydrates, traditionally in a layer of rice at the bottom. It is not to be confused with a taco salad which has a foundation of lettuce, and a tortilla with it. The burrito bowl is found in some form at all the major national Mexican chains including Chipotle, Qdoba, Panchero's, and Moe's. Chipotle refers to it as the "Burrito bol," sans the "w" in their menu (bol is the Spanish word for bowl). Qdoba informs customers to: "ask for it naked." [ [http://qdoba.com/MenuItem.aspx?p=signature Qdoba Mexican Grill :: Fresh Burritos, Tacos, Nachos, and Salads Made to Order ] ] Moe's menu states: "be a streaker! Lose the tortilla!." Panchero's menu states to order "just the insides." [http://www.pancheros.com/pdf/menu.pdf] [ [http://www.burritophile.com/articles/2005/04/things-that-are-not-burritos.php Burrito bowl appearance] ] [ [http://restaurant.asg.northwestern.edu/restaurant_view.php?id=1&sectionid=00 Definition of a burrito bowl] ]

A Chimichanga is a tex-mex dish that started when a Burrito was accidentally knocked into hot oil. However, today the two dishes often use different recipes.

For author Linda Furiya, burritos evoke "pacifying" comfort food qualities that "soothe the soul." Furiya offers a unique recipe for the "Spirit-Lifting Burrito," containing Monterey Jack cheese, scrambled eggs, sautéed spinach, sesame seeds, black beans, rice, mung bean sprouts, sriracha sauce, cilantro and lime juice.Furiya, Linda. (Jan. 24, 2007). [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2007/01/24/FDGCVNMJCJ1.DTL Burritos can soothe your soul] . "San Francisco Chronicle".]


Taco Bell research chef Anne Albertine experimented with grilling burritos to enhance portability. This grilling technique allowed large burritos to remain sealed without spilling their contents. [Crosby, Olivia. (Fall, 2002). [http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/departments/careertraining/?article=researchchef You're a What? Research Chef] . "Occupational Outlook Quarterly". Vol. 46, Num. 3. ] This is a well known cooking technique used by some San Francisco taquerias and Northern Mexico burrito stands. Traditionally, grilled burritos are cooked on a comal (griddle).

Lean burritos which are high in protein and low in saturated fat have been touted for their health benefits. Black bean burritos are also a good source of dietary fiber and phytochemicals. [The University of Pennsylvania Health System. [http://web.archive.org/web/20060325211924/http://www.pennhealth.com/pahosp/cancer/prog_comp/entrees.html Breakfast, Dinner or Anytime Burrito] . Adapted from the Cancer Nutrition Information, LLC. Archive URL: Mar 25, 2006. ]

International burritos

ee also

*Low-carb tortilla


Further reading and resources

*cite book
last = Aft
first = Lawrence S.
title = Work Measurement and Methods Improvement
publisher = Wiley-IEEE
date = 2000
isbn = 0471370894

*cite book
last = Ellman
first = Mark
coauthors = Barbara Santos
title = Maui Tacos Cookbook
publisher = Pendulum Publishing
date = 2003
isbn = 0965224333

*cite web
last = Fox
first = Peter
title = Burrito Search
work = All Things Considered
publisher = "National Public Radio"
date = 1998-07-02
url = http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/980702.atc.14.ram
format = Real Media
accessdate =

*cite web
last = Fox
first = Peter
title = Burrito Odyssey
work = All Things Considered
publisher = "National Public Radio"
date = 1998-07-17
url = http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1034371
format = Real Media
accessdate =

*cite web
last = Fox
first = Peter
title = Burrito
work = All Things Considered
publisher = "National Public Radio"
date = 1998-07-31
url = http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/19980731.atc.15.ram
format = Real Media
accessdate =

*cite web
last = Fox
first = Peter
title = Burrito Trail
work = All Things Considered
publisher = "National Public Radio"
date = 1998-08-12
url = http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1033908
format = Real Media
accessdate =

*cite web
last = Fox
first = Peter
title = End of the Burrito Trail
work = All Things Considered
publisher = "National Public Radio"
date = 1998-09-03
url = http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1033459
format = Real Media
accessdate =

*cite news
last = Fox
first = Peter
title = Burritos: A Search For Beginnings
work = Food
pages = E.01
publisher = "The Washington Post"
date = 1998-11-04
accessdate =

*cite book
last = Gold
first = Jonathan
title = Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles
publisher = Macmillan
date = 2000
isbn = 0312267231

*cite book
last = Johnson
first = Lisa
title = Mind Your X's and Y's: Satisfying the 10 Cravings of a New Generation of Consumers
publisher = Free Press
date = 2006
isbn = 0743277503

*cite book
last = Sparks
first = Pat
coauthors = Barbara Swanson
title = Tortillas!
publisher = Macmillan
date = 1993
isbn = 0312089120

*cite book
last = Thomsen
first = David
coauthors = Derek Wilson
title = Burritos! Hot on the Trail of the Little Burro
publisher = Gibbs Smith Publishers
date = 1998
isbn = 0-87905-835-8

*cite web
last = Young
first = Marc
title = Bringing the Burrito to Berlin
work = Culture & Lifestyle
publisher = Deutsche Welle
date = 2005-02-25
url = http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1500156,00.html
accessdate = 2008-02-18

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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